Monday, July 29, 2013

Found more investigators

Man oh man! 
Well this week was a fast one! I really couldn't believe that it was Sunday again yesterday! But we did our work and I feel tons better! No more sickness for me! I guess that there was a ton of missionaries that had dangue so it is definitely going around!  But no worries, I am cleared!!! 
Tuesday was just a normal day of going out! We were able to teach and be effective missionaries again! We were a little bit discouraged because we were trying to find new investigators to teach but no one was really listening to us! It was a bummer but we went home Tuesday and during planning I just stopped everything and was like-We are going to be friendly to everyone, even the creeps (well not to friendly to them) And whoever talks to us or makes a comment we are going to start speaking to them, Well Wednesday rolls around and we tried it........well lets just say that people stopped talking to us! HAHA I guess that is one way to keep the creeps away! Start sharing a gospel message! But we really had a lot of success! We found a few people who are potential! They invited us in and we shared with them so this week we will follow up with them and hopefully it is their time and we can get them to build a testimony. So funny story, Wednesday we went to an area that I know a little bit but I am not 100% with it, well anyways we are walking and trying to find this girl who was baptized in a different ward but just moved into our ward. Well we stop at this house and are asking for directions or a landmark because there aren't signs here so you go by what people say, anyways so we are talking to this girl and she is being very helpful so we start on with our spill of how we are missionaries and our purpose and what not, well I go to give her a pamphlet and she goes "Sister I already have one of those" So i was confused and just was like well can we come back and share with you what we know and whatever well she looks at me and goes "I am a member, I was baptized a long time ago" HAHA so i was a little bit embarrassed but We found an LA in our ward who I didn't know and it all worked out! I just had to laugh and realize that people are placed in our path for a reason! It was funny, Sister Livingston was like "what just happened" I was like Oh you know we just tried to OYM to a member haha!! Thursday we had to go to follow up training for Sister Livingston. She was excited to see her batch from the MTC and it really was interesting, President is so funny I just have to laugh, he is serious but a funny serious! We learned more of the fundamentals. That we need to constantly be focusing on the Spirit and how to teach thru it and not just saying a bunch of random things! That the spirit is the most powerful and without it we shouldn't be teaching! So it was a good reminder than this mission isn't about me! Not one bit and that I need to align my will with Heavenly Fathers and that is when I will have the most success! Everything happens for a reason that is something I have learned this week! To take opportunities every chance I get and even tho sometimes I feel so frustrated with the language I know that people will understand the spirit. Friday we did our weekly planning and went out! We met 2 new investigators!! BLESSINGS GD!!! Grabi we were so excited that what we set our minds to we found! And they both came to church which was also a blessing! I loved it! We had a really good day!  But we came home and again had no water pressure! It is something that I think will be super weird, to come home and have water readily available whenever I need it, But luckily it was pouring rain outside so we set a bucket under the drain pipe and showered outside in our clothes and bonus, we scrubbed our clothes while we were wearing them, so 2 birds with one stone!! I didn't feel crazy clean but it was better than nothing! It was Sister Vargus 6 months in the mission mark so of course we had to celebrate, we celebrate the dumbest things but it keeps things interesting. But really this week was not to bad! We had 3 kids who were scheduled to be baptized on Aug 3 but they didnt show up to church and on top of that they missed their interview. So we will reschedule it gives us time to make sure they are really ready! Church was awesome, We call sundays "Judgement Day" and from what we had we were judged quiet fairly for the work that we put in!! We were excited! It really was a good week! Nothing crazy exciting but It was bomb! I love you all! This church is true! Continue forward and look for the little blessings, that is what keeps you going!! I love missionary work! Super different and hard but I love it!! I know that you all are doing awesome but I still miss you! Be good and be safe!! MMUUAAH
Palangga ko kamo!!!! Halong
Sister Sarah Polatis

air-conditioned tricycle ride!!


after church

celebrating a sister being out for 6 months--always a PARTY!!

NO WATER!!  Washing with rain water!!

my little John- the bishop's son

1st baptism coming up!!

Hey everyone!!!!  First off this was the CRAZIEST WEEK I have had in my entire mission.. I hope you all enjoy this letter! sorry it is really long... but it is needed... and I love being a missionary.. I cant believe one year ago I graduated from the nursing program and opened my mission call! I love being a missionary... Honestly best. decision. ever!  My Romanian life>>>>>>>
MONDAY: Ok so after I emailed you all we were getting ready to go to our lesson and... stood up... bummer deal- So we were like "Hey lets go plan of salvation contacting!" So we go out and we started talking to a lady on the street.. her husband had died and she had a lot of questions.. it was going perfect! I asked her what the purpose of life was and then I opened up the scriptures to read to hear in Alma about how this is the time to prepare to meet God.... and.... BAM right as I start reading out loud on the street this random Romanian guy comes up to us and he starts like yelling at us and the Women that we were teaching... He was like "Aren't you orthodox" to the women... then he looked at us in disgust and he was like "This girls are evil... that Book is of the Devil... you should not be associating yourself with these people..." The lady turned to us and she was like "Do you know him?" we said no... He then starts walking off and says "I will see you in Heaven.." Sora Rivera was like ... "yep see you there..." (Well this mission is really making me tough.. I didn't even start crying...... well until later that night... ) but anyways the story keeps going on... the lady after that then did not want to hear anything more about what we had to say and then....  we were going over to the elders house to grab my hard drive and we were standing outside so it looked like we were contacting the elders... anyways the guys comes up behind us AGAIN! and starts making fun of us again... I just told him to have a good night... I could not believe it... I mean sometimes I feel like people aren't loving us in this country  but when they come right out and say that you are from the devil.... that's rough.... (I realized the next day though I really just have to forgive that man... Orthodox is all he has ever known.. He was just trying his best... He was trying to save his neighbor's soul?)  but then we had a little tender mercy moment after that we were walking into our apartment and we were talking to our neighbor she walked into her apartment but then turned back around... and was like "Do you girls want some chocolate?" Seriously I know this sounds really missionary but I really felt like it was a small gift from God telling me it was ok... and He loves me... The chocolate was delicious!
TUESDAY: Well after a little rough Monday we thought the week could only go up from here... We had 3 lessons set up for the day which is huge and we were all prepared and ready... Well Every single lesson fell through... they all bailed on us....  ha we tried to do some contacting and just tried figuring out what to do.... crazy day....
WEDNESDAY: Sora Rivera and I were the only missionaries in this country that didn't go to transfers so we decided we were going to have the best day ever!! So we got permission to go to the country side and visit less active family. Well we weren't sure if they would need our help and they didn't pick up there phone so we just wore our dresses and went out there. Well we got there and she had made us some roll up pancakes.. super good! Then we asked if we could help and they were like "of course!" so we go out side and there is this barrel thing of corn... they call it cleaning the corn here... but anyways.. it was there stash of hard as rock corn that has been chilling out in the sun... They wanted us to get it off the cobs.. so you attach this metal thing to your hand and you scrape the corn.. I will send the pictures it is so funny! We did it for FIVE HOURS! The couple is this cute little couple that have these strong moldovans country folk accents.. and they are just trying there best.. we could not leave until the job was done... So we thought we were done when we filled the bucket up but the corn just kept on coming.. they had a little shed with corn in it.. but it was like the clown cars... corn just kept on coming! ha I was dying of laughter.. the old man kept saying... "curaj!!!" with every bucket load of corn he added to the pile... I was getting blisters on my hands but I could not stop.... we have a video of us doing it and everything... We then taught them a spiritual message and they were very grateful... they said the want to make up for making us be there all day so they invited us back again to us the corn and grind it down to make mamaliga... famous Romanian dish kind of like runny corn bread... ha not my favorite.. but of course Sora Rivera and I were like "that sounds great!" haha o Romania!
THURSDAY: Block knocking all day long... ha (apartment is a block)  so funny.. you never now what you are going to get at the door.. people half dressed... the funniest part is trying to get into the block.. because you have to buzz in...  so entertaining.. we did that as a district for a couple hours! ha some good stories... we were both in one apartment complex and this lady was like yelling at us to get out!! haha but we stayed and finished!
FRIDAY: We had a great lesson with our investigator who has the boyfriend.. I asked her to be baptized... she said no because of her boyfriend... but she wants to continue learning and she knows that she is improving as she has been meeting with us! so we will keep working with her! We then had another lesson with a lady from the area book.. We could not find her block! ah we were dying... Romanians giving directions is hilarious... they are always like "go straight ahead that way and then ask someone else" ha needless to say an hour later we finally found her block.. you guys all know how much I love looking for things... ha but the lesson was good and she wants to meet again!! yay!!!
SATURDAY: Planning .... contacting... correlation.... :) and we found out that we are giving ANOTHER presentation at zone training this week.. it will be super fun.. we love presenting!!
SUNDAY... BEST DAY EVER!!! I can't fully describe this day.... but I will try... so we met with our Jewish lady.. and her husband before church. We were really excited for this lesson! We were following up on if she prayed about Jesus Christ. So we get there and they brought out there scrapbooks they had made and it was so cute.. I am obsessed with them as a couple... they have only been married one year and they are in there 60's and they have traveled all over... so cute! they had love poems in there and all these cute pictures and even one in front of the temple in Ukraine... so after looking through those we were like.. so how was 3 nephi 11 and praying.... The husband gets this big smile and his face and nudged his wife and was like "tell them about your revelation"  So she goes onto tell us about her revelation she was like "I don't know if it was a dream or a vision or what (Romanian are really into dreams) but Jesus Christ came to me three times... the first time He just came.. the second time He smiled at me... the third time He hugged me! I know that is was from God and now I believe in Jesus. I had this vision before I read 3 Nephi 11- if I had had it after I would think I made it up in my mind but I had it before!" we were both like almost in tears.... We were like "We know that was from God..." She was like "I know it was... It is really easy for me to believe now." HOW COOL IS THAT!! I love in 2 Nephi when is talks about how God teaches to the peoples understanding... a dream is exactly what she needed!! a Jewish lady who did not know who Christ was last week now KNOWS THAT He is her Savior.. Miracle... seriously! She now has a baptismal date for September 28th!! wahoo!! My first investigator of my whole mission who I have been with to accept a date!!!!!!!!! They leave to Israel this week and will be there for a month but we called President Hill and he said we could Skype them lessons!! so ya crazy.. our main investigator we will be teaching a Jewish lady in Israel! I could not be happier.. Then they will be sealed in one year... ah I love it!! So after that lesson.. we are walking on cloud nine and then Elder Montoya comes up to me and is like "your guy is here..." I was so confused... I walk into the sacrament meeting room.... and remember the guy who came up to us and asked us out on dates on the beach...Well... He came to church!!! stayed all three hours!!! I was laughing so hard.. I could hardly play the piano.. I was dying... I could not believe it!! I love my mission so much!!
MONDAY: We helped the senior couple clean out an apartment and then they took us to McDonalds... So nice! I love senior couples!!! :)
So yes... that was my week.. I honestly love it so much! I would not rather be anywhere at this time then here in Romanian.. 
Cu mare mare mare Drag, Sora Abby Polatis

getting kernels out of dried corn

my animal print twin!

My cute Jewish friend that is getting baptized in September!!

Found 4 new investigators!!! YEAH!

Oi minha Familia!!
         Well we have had a pretty great week!!! The Lord is really blessing us with some people to teach. We have had a few members that are getting fired up to do missionary work. I think we found 4 new investigators this week. Right now we have a baptism set for every week of august so its definitely exciting. The family that we have been teaching didnt show up to church for some reason. I am pretty frustrated with that. So we are going to go chew them out tonight;) ha naahhh we'll just love them into the gospel. But if we could get them set on a baptismal date, then we would have about 9 dates set at the moment!!
        So this last weekend was "Called to Serve" Its where all of the young men and women come out on these little mini missions with us for a weekend. Elder Winchester and I got 3 of these little guys ha. And it turned out that we didnt have very many appointments set up for that weekend.... So we all know what that means... yes finding!!:) Ha one of them came with me while the other 2 went with Elder Winchester. We covered a lot of area thats for sure. It was great though. My little mini got to do a few door approaches and would just freeze and look at me.... hahaha oh man it was hilarious. He started to get the hang of it though. We knocked into this one guy and he told us to come one in and get some dinner. I was like, oh crap this is a member that I havent met yet. So I asked him if he knew about the mormons and he was like of course!! Come to find out that he knows us from the Book of Mormon play. Gosh that stupid thing! His wife was in the background singing some songs from it. I think that the play is spreading the word though. So I taught him about the Book of Mormon a little bit and he said that he wanted to read it so I gave him one, and i slipped a restoration pamphlet in there just in case;) So that was interesting. But we found about 4 potentials that told us to come back, so this week we are going to go and see them all. Elder Winchester and his group also found a few, so the little mini's did some good things for us. We did have a few lessons with them. We set up some lessons with the members which was perfect because we have been needing to talk with the members a lot more. So we did that, and my mini missionary and I had a spiritual lesson about the Book of Mormon with a family. He was so excited about missionary work. He actually went on a foreign exchange to chili also, so he knew some spanish too. So we talked some portspanish together.
         So are there missionaries in our ward right now? Like the way we work with members and stuff I dont ever remember our missionaries getting to involved or anything. So make sure that if there are that you are putting them to work!! This saturday we are baptizing this guy named Mitch at 1:30 and then he is getting married at 4 so its going to be a big day for him. Oh and also... I got a ride to the Nauvoo Pageant!!!:) I'm so excited. We are going Friday and I guess this member (who loves the missionaries) was planning on taking this non member to it. But I guess she told this nonmember that we needed a ride and the nonmember offered to take us. So pretty much we are going to have 2 new investigators ha because that is an hour and half down there and we could teach them everything. So yea I'll take some pictures and stuff. I have heard that it is way cool!! I'll let ya know how it goes.
         But I'm glad everything is going great, thanks for everything. Miss you!!! Love you all a ton!!! Love Elder Polatis

Iowa Corn!!!  TALL

my Mini-me
all the little missionaries--some look way excited!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Got the "FEVER"

Well Kamusta Family!!!! 
Well this week was really good! We finally broke our streak of having no baptisms and hopefully we can continue fulfilling our mission vision! But We had a really good day on Tuesday of getting out and getting lessons taught. We had a lot of people to see and we wanted to make sure that they knew we are still worried about them. We have a decent amount of investigators that we are teaching so we are trying to balance them all out! We like it because we always have a back up plan. I started feeling super hot at District meeting but was quickly informed that it is flu season and to get a blessing and go home and rest. Well I got a blessing but we had a busy day so we went out instead hahah whoops that was probably my bad. I woke up on Wednesday super hot so I was advised to stay in! So we did! I think I was awake for 3 hours total! I had to wake up to go to the baptism of the 8 year boy in our ward! We didnt teach him but as missionaries they needed us to plan the program and play the piano and stuff so It wasnt too horrible. He was cute and really excited to be baptized. Thursday I was still having a fever but we had some set appointments and I hate being that person and especially as a missionary who says I will be somewhere but then doesnt go. So we went out! I took a wet wash cloth and a water and we taught short powerful lessons. HAHA Heavenly Father really did bless me. I was able to speak in Hiligaynon and be understood. For not doing my language study I was blessed. I know that it really is in the hard times that Heavenly Father has your back. He has never left us alone ever so why because we are sick or something would he chose to leave us now. I was feeling better and I did what was needed to get better so Friday we went out. I was so happy to get out of our apartment and it was amazing, all the people we needed to see were home. We taught almost all of our investigators and were able to come in contact with more who are interested....BLESSINGS!!! We had an investigator who is 12 come to church last Sunday and he is the cutest thing in the whole entire world, But I guess that someone at church told him that his shoes were law-ay (ugly) So we was feeling pretty bad. But he was a referral from one of our members and she told us that he was shy and not sure if he should go back to church so We explained to him that sometimes people say mean things but Jesus doesnt really care what your shoes look like, he only cares that you are coming to church to learn about him and to grow closer to him. But he came again yesterday and he had on brand new shoes. He was so cute! We were so excited and just all around happy that the comment that was made didnt affect him to where he stopped going! He is so smart and ready to continue! I love it! Saturday we had the Baptism of Brother Ray! So funny story about it, He got in the font and was all baptized and everything, The people who baptized him got out of the font, well all the sudden I look up into the mirror and see ray do this dive thing back into the water and like swim around. I was dying of laughter, trying to maintain my composure but it was so funny I had never seen it before. Well he gets his clothes changed and comes back to the room all smiley and what not and he looks at me and in english goes "I like to swim" HAHAHA super funny! Made my day! Every time I need a laugh I think about it! So besides the rash and the fever this week really wasnt that bad! We had a really good investigator turn out on Sunday! Our Investigator Jaime came and He gets more and more excited about it all the time! I love this gospel tho! All in my studies I think of ways that I want to improve my life. Whether it is now or later! It is weird to find out what exactly you want and really everything that you need to do to become closer to Jesus Christ. Every single day I learn more about myself and the biggest thing was that I cant be too serious. It just isnt me! I love laughing and especially while I learn this language. A couple members were helping me remember some Non-gospel words but they laughed at me the whole time because they said I was speaking "Slang" Meaning that My accent is horrible haha! Still a tad white speaking haha I love it tho! Always a challenge but that is when I know that I am growing!!! I love you all! It sounds like you are doing fantastic and just having reunions and parties left and right! Tate and Abby both sound good to! I cant believe Tate's visa didnt come! That means someone is either waiting for him in Iowa or the people of Brazil arent ready for him! HAHA I know that he will go when the time is right!! But once again, Be good and be Safe! I swear that is like my trademark saying!! Keep going strong and enjoying the summer! It really is going fast!  I love you all and really am so Thankful to be part of the BEST FAMILY EVER!! Thanks for the prayers!!!! MMUUAAH
Sister S. Polatis

New little member

sunglasses to hide my "fever"

Juice to help me get better;)

My Baptism "Ray"

Loving my new Comp!

Hi Family!!!
           I'm going to call my investigator this week and set up a time to go to the pageant because it gets over August 3rd and this will be my only chance. Ha he is getting baptized on the 3rd also,and guess what else... Hes getting married that same night!! That would be crazy. He said that his girlfriend wont push it back for some reason, so i guess the bishop is going to marry them right after he is baptized. He is a cool guy though. He comes to church every week and stays the whole time, and he seems pretty excited to follow his savior.
        Yep I got my new companion. His name is Elder Winchester from Morgan Utah. He actually just got done being a zone leader for a long time so now he is just finishing up his mission here. He acutally has already served here too, so a lot of members already know him better than they know me. He's a good missionary and I got lucky again, because he likes to play ball too! We have about 10 people we are working with right now,and the Bishop says that he wants a member at every lesson. Ha that is kind of asking a lot because the members dont really like getting involved. That will change though. We had to push the Mongolian guy's date back a couple of weeks because he said that he wanted to know more about what they were talking about at church. Ha I dont blame him at all. We had the mongolian sister come to our ward and translate all 3 hours for him. Ha he said that he wanted me to baptized him, so I told him that I would do it in Mongolian:) so now I am trying to get this baptismal prayer memorized in mongolian haha. It is such a different language. Sister Moldigali said that I sounded pretty good when I recited it to her so we will see. I hope that he doesnt feel like the missionaries have to baptize him because he could have his brother in law do it. I'll have to make sure this week that he knows that anybody can do it because a member who is his sister in-law feels that he didnt understand that anybody could do it.  So we'll see.
           Well our district got changed up a little bit. There is another set of elders that came into another district so they gave us this set of sisters from the YSA branch. There are 3 of them and then there are 3 hermanas. So now there are 6 sisters, the senior couple and Elder Winchester and I. Ha its kind of weird having no other Elders in there. My last district was like 9 Elders so this is definitely a change. But there is this sister from Idaho Falls here. Her name is sister Kissner. She just barely got here. I guess she went to Hillcrest. But yea we have set some pretty high goals for the next couple of months. We have 3 solid dates for August which is great, and then if we can get some of these families to be converted that we are working with then that would be amazing!  I bought some new ties last week for cheap and they are way nice. Also I have just inherited a lot of ties ha. I went from 7 to 30 just like that. Thats about it for my week. Sounds like you all are staying busy there. Ha those calves are making you work mom. You probably liked that excuse to not have to go to the cabin for 3 days though haha jk jk. Alright well I love and miss you all!! Thanks for all the love and support. Love YOU,               Love, Elder Polatis

This is my "grandpa, Dad and new Elder"

My old comp Elder Shulbert

New investigator

 Buna Frumosilor! (Hey Beautifuls!) ha 
How is everyone doing!? Can you believe that it is July 22nd 2013.... I cant not believe it! This month is going crazy fast.
              This week has been an interesting week.. ha i think every week in Romanian in interesting! ha honestly never a boring day! So at the first of the week we set up with this lady from the area book and we were super excited to meet with her.. she sounded so nice! Well we got there and she really likes the missionaries... but she is super catholic.... ha ends up we found another page of her teaching record and missionaries have been trying here for years... so we just had a nice little chat and she tried making us drink this coffee stuff... ughh so gross... she was like "its not coffee.... I know you guys can't drink coffee.." Well it looked like coffee and she wanted us to add milk and sugar to it... so it was for sure coffee... I just prayed that some how the coffee would disappear in front of us... Sometimes people get very offended when you don't eat or drink their food... Well Heavenly Father had our backs... We some how manage to escape with out having to drink it... We apologized for not drinking it and she was like "o it was my fault I kept you girls talking..." yes prayers are answered! 
         We also visited with one of our less actives and it was so much fun. We taught her the word of wisdom and after she like... o sad that is the whole lesson... ha so she told us to throw on some aprons and cook and eat dinner with her! It was so much fun! I have some pictures from it! 
          FUNNY STORY... ok so this story wins... I mean... I sound ridiculous but it was so funny... so one day this week I was feeling a little bit discouraged... ALL of our lessons fell through for the day.... I still can't speak this language perfectly not even close to perfect... waiting for transfer boards... blah blah blah... anyways... so for companionship study we decide to go sit out on the beach and talk as we watched the waves... This random guy comes up to us and ask if we will take a picture of him... ha We must of looked confused or mad or something because he was like -  sorry... why are you guys mad?" ha We are just not used to random people wanting to come talk to us... so we took the picture and he sits down next to us... He starts asking us all sorts of questions... long story short .... we taught him the plan of salvation and the restoration... We invited him to church! It was so cool... ha He was 22 and he did ask us out on a date for that night afterwards.. but still is was really fun... Well keep in mind I was having a vent session before he got there so I had makeup around my eyes... well Romanians are so blunt.. he was like "What were you guys talking about before I got here... Were you crying?" I was like "yes... man I am super embarrassed... I can't speak Romanian I was just venting" and he was like... "you can tell me in English why you were upset... I can kind of understand." I was like no I mean I am upset because I cant speak Romanian really well.... He was like "What are you talking about-- You speak perfect!" ha super funny... maybe it was a you had to be there kind of thing but super funny... 
          We went branch contacting again this week in the center of constanta... it was really fun! super hot though.. we were all sweating to death. It was really funny because we were all singing and one of the ward members said "man no one is stopping and listening to us... we need to go somewhere else... everyone says they are not interested.." ha We just looked at him and shrugged and said "Welcome to Romania Missionary Work":) ha but we ended up talking to some cool people and so it was really fun.. Also another random Romanian thing.. they dont drink Cold drinks because they think it makes them sick.. they don"t drink with ice here... and it is hard to find a nice cold drink! ha anyways so we asked a member to sing with us and he was like "no I can't sing.. I have a sore throat... every summer this happens... because I drink cold drinks..." ha Sora Rivera and I were laughing super hard... because we had to be serious and agree with him.. haha 
           So you know how I needed you to send me minute to win it games...Well we had our branch activity this week and IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! Seriously everyone was laughing and having a good old time.. our branch president was doing all the games and making sure that he was winning... you know the game where you tie the tissue box to you and it has ping pong balls and you shake them out... ha we did that game!! and o my word... I was dying... the videos.. o the videos are priceless... hahahahaha everyone loved it! We are all going to make some pretty good ward activity directors! ha It was really sad though.. the next day and church we have no idea what happened.. Only 8 members were there and 6 missionaries... it was crazy... maybe because it was raining they didnt come?? I have no idea.. we usually have a good solid 15-20... It will be better next week! :) 
      NEW INVESTIGATOR! So we were able to get a new investigator yesterday!! She is great! She just married a member one year ago and he is really active! So we started meeting with her this week! We did the 10 points of teaching and I asked her if she knew these things were true would she be baptized and......... SHE SAID YES!! wahoo.... small minor problem... She is Jewish... legit from Israel... She is not sure exactly who Jesus Christ is... But We gave her some good chapters to read in the Book of Mormon and to pray and she said she would!! She is super open and we are excited to meet with her next week!! :) yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Our other investigator with the boyfriend is still doing great.. she came to church yesterday and she was so excited because she works at a hotel and people were there from Washington... Well they asked her where she learned english and she was like "my friends the mormon missionaries.." I guess the family was surprised that we had missionaries here... ha She is basically already spreading the gospel! We love her! And Andreea is still rock solid... baptism September 21st! hopefully I am still her in Constanta!! :) 
    I also need to give a shout out to my mission president! I love President and Sora Hill. This was in our last weeks newsletter from him...
“We've had another week with all zeros. Our lessons didn't work out and we weren't able to find any people that were interested in the truth yet, but we are still looking. Should we be worried about our low numbers?”
ANSWER: I'm so sorry that your planned lessons didn’t work out.  That, unfortunately, happens a lot to missionaries--probably all over the world.  Just one of the "occupational hazards" of our assignment!  We just pick ourselves up off the floor of despair and move forward!  I know you're trying so hard!  And some weeks you don't even have any "Key Indicators" to report that except zeros!  But, never fear, I was a Germany missionary and I fully understand the challenges of Rom├ónia/Moldova missionaries!!  You never have to explain low numbers to me.  I know you're working hard and often have "nothing to show" for your efforts--except those unreportable "touches" that might someday pay dividends. Just keep trying.  Never give up.  Never, ever give up!
He is so great isn't he!! honestly I am so thankful to be in this mission! I am so happy to be a missionary! it is the best thing in the world! I know that this gospel is true! I have seen it change peoples lives here in Romania! and it is for sure changing mine! I love it here! Have a great week! I love you all so so so much!! 
Cu mare mare mare drag, 
                Sora Abby Polatis mmwwaaauuhhh! 

power lines down--typical

all apron'ed" up and cooking

we are still together--Sis Rivera

our plan of salvation poster we teach with outside

us looking at transfers--happy in the back is going HOME

Our branch pres.

Win it in a minute games with the Branch

Branch Pres couldn't believe that he could get the cookie in his eye!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Time is going crazy fast!!

Subject: KAMUSTA!!!!
 I cant believe that a months has already passed! I have been with Sister Livingston for about a month! Seems like just yesterday I got the call I was training!! Not too bad!  Abby--- PLEASE---I deal with like 20 a day! And they FLY!!! They are so huge and lets just say it gets a little loud in our apartment when we try to kill them and they are flying! Actually tho, this week I have seen a lot more RATS then usual, as we were teaching last week I looked down and thought it was a cat by my foot but NOPE a huge nasty rat, I tried to stay composed but inside I was wanting to barf and scream! HAHA nasty huh!!

Well what an awesome week! Everything that we did paid off! Well almost everything! Monday we were able to get our water turned back on so that was nice, I spent a really long time getting all my clothes washed!-. But This week was work work work! Holy cow, I decided that I need to just crack down and start talking to everyone that I see! On Tuesday we were able to come in contact with a mom of one of the girls that we were teaching, she was just sitting outside so we invited her in and she actually listened, she even told us we could come back, so that made it a lot better, We are trying to find new investigators like crazy! 
Wednesday: Well I was so nervous for this day! Sister Lopez ( Our Mission Presidents' wife)  said that she was going to come with us and I was nervous not only for my language skills but for my teaching skills as well. But it actually went really really good! The people that we planned on seeing were home and our lessons went smooth, well the first one was a little bit rough but the ones after that were AWESOME! We stopped by this less active house. The Husband is active and so are some of the daughters but the mom is an RM and she stopped coming. Well we didnt even plan to see her I just had this feeling that we should stop. So we stopped by. I had no idea what we were even going to teach her. So I whispered to Sister Livingston to find a scripture while I made small talk with the family, haha that is really all I can do is awkward small talk:) Anyways so she picked the scripture Alma 56:47-48! It was about the stripling warriors and how they were strong! They had strong examples from their moms! AHHH, the spirit was so strong. We asked her what she wanted for her daughters and that leading by example would be the best thing she could do for them. Sister Lopez Testified about the importance of being a good example. We extended the commitment for her to go back to church! I dont know if she will, but my testimony was strengthened by that little 20 minute lesson. I have always had the best examples to look to and I think that sometimes I took that for granted!! So Dad and Mom, thank you so much!!! I appreciate it! I know that the spirit was in that lesson. I was touched and really I think all of us were about in tears!! AWESOME!!!! After we asked Sister Lopez what she thought we could improve on and really she just told us our strengths so that was nice!! She said to just continue on our language study and that it will come!! But we had a really good time! She gave us a lot of insights!!
Thursday: We OYM'd to this lady on the street I just started talking to her, well she was holding the cutest baby! So I took that as my way into the conversation. Well apparently it was the babies time to eat haha We are standing on the busiest street in our area, with her 16 year old son and she starts breastfeeding HAHA now I am all for breastfeeding I guess life is just different here! Anyways, point of the story:) I start talking to her and ask if we can do anything to help, then I start with how the gospel blesses families and how she can be with her family forever! I get done speaking and I am feeling so confident with all the things that I just said and how I said them, (I felt like it was perfect Ilonggo haha) But she looks at me all confused and goes "Ano??" That means "What?"" Ahh I wanted to die!! So I just started laughing and started over!! HAHA there was no way I was feeling so good about speaking and walking away without her understanding!! HAHA poor lady she was probably like shut up random American girl, but I was going to prove to her that I do know what I am talking about and that I can speak this language!! She accepted a pamphlet
 and a return appointment so it must have worked:) :)
Friday we had a bomb weekly planning!! There are so many talented people in our ward so we decided that maybe one thing we can do is a ward choir so that we dont always have to do a congregational hymn! The ones who came to the meeting seemed really excited so we hopefully will start that on Sunday! I am excited. We hope that getting out there we will be able to find more people who are waiting for us. We will start our church tours this week. We will do our best to just invite everyone in!!! Maybe that will be what sparks their attention!
Saturday: We taught a boy Marjoe. He is 12 and so cute!! I couldn't believe how open I was with him. I guess that I just decided that we were probably on the same language level and I just went for it! My personality is coming out and it is so nice! Before I was always a little hesitant because I never could express myself so I would hold back but this week that changed. A lot changed that was just what I noticed the most! We have new ward missionaries that come with us. They really are awesome. They bear good testimony and really let the people that we are teaching know that this is the true church. I was grateful for them this week. We are teaching an Investigator who is Tagalog speaking so they were able to help with that!! 
Sunday: BLESSINGS on SUNDAY!! This was a day that I left the church feeling somewhat accomplished. I had to teach R.S and it was a last minute thing but I just taught what my personal study had been on Saturday. It was short but I didn't feel horrible about it. I know that as a missionary that is my job her, to teach! So if I am asked just do what I can here to do and know that the spirit will be with me if it is the right direction. Sister Livingston and I also spoke in church. I spoke on the importance of prayer. The other girl who spoke just pointed out that I always speak on the little things hahaha like reading, praying, church, faith! I guess that is my trademark. I know that doing the little things leads to big things! Our little actions will soon become habits and the basics are the best things to become habits!! I love it! If I could only stress one this my whole mission it would be to do the little things! Plus it made me smile to know that people actually listen to my little talks haha We had a good investigator attendance as well as recent convert attendance. It wasn't everyone we wanted but we were happy with the ones who did show up!! We had a baptism interview for brother Ray today! He Passed! He is a smart guy and he is ready! He will be baptized on Saturday! FINALLY! It has been to long since we had a baptism!! But hopefully over the next few weeks we keep helping people see that this is the right thing. I loved this week! I finally feel a little bit more confident in knowing that I can do this! That the language will come but only if I try!! I know that this is the only true church! Joseph Smith did restore this gospel and I know that we have the true priesthood!! I was reading President Monsons talk in the Priesthood session, Man all about missionary work and having purpose in this life. I was so intrigued because it applied to me!! I didn't even notice that I was crying until the pages were wet. The spirit is definitely working with me. Helping me change little by little to become what Heavenly Father wants and needs me to be! I have also learned that it isn't about me! Nothing here is!! I have to align my will with Heavenly Fathers and that is how success will be made!! I love you all! Keep up the good work. I miss you everyday but I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing!! MMUUAAH!!! Be good and Be safe!!!! Until Next week!!! 
Love Sister Sarah Polatis!! (I put Sarah because sometimes I miss my first name) HAHA yes I think I am a weirdo now!!:)
Be tracting with my ward mission member

Sippin' Fanta

Sister Livingston and ME

Matchy Matchy--didn't even plan it!

Our Baptism this week!!

Visa maybe next time

Como Vai Familia???
     Ha yea so even though that introduction is in portuguese I am still in Iowa! The call from President came on saturday and he said that it was not here. Two kids from my mtc district finally got theirs so they are out of here today. Also there was this girl that just got here that got hers to go to Brazil. Sheesh those visas are so stupid. There are still 8 of us here in Iowa though waiting for our visas so its not like I'm the only one. Even though i am the farthest one away because of that transfer a couple weeks ago. I guess it is kind of nice that I already dont have to pack up again. My companion is getting transferred though. It stinks that we only got to be companions for like 3 weeks. He is a good Elder. So I will now be getting another companion. I will now have 6 companions in 4 months. Ha I dont think that happens very often.
           Everything is going great though. We have 3 baptisms coming up in a couple of weeks so i'm not too bummed out about not getting my visa again. We also found 5 new investigators this week which was sweet. We were just looking through the area book one night and decided that we should go check on some former investigators. So we went to this one's house and he wasnt home, so we decided to go knock on the house right next door. This lady answers and is like Mormons!! I mean Elders, come on in.. It was sweet!! Haha I think that is the first time I have ever gotten that reaction on a door apoach. I guess she had met with them before but she doesnt really know who her savior is very well. So we got her husband and her daughter in there and taught them some things about Jesus Christ. I guess there are still 2 other boys too so Its a good family. Her husband as autism and also one of her boys though. Ha and she was not the most normal either. I guess she talks to spirits some times or something like that. As I was walking out, she gave me like a reading of my life hahaha. She asked if one of us writes a record of our life, and I was like, I write in my journal. Ha then she was like well make sure and keep writing because some one is going to read it and can really relate to you or something like that. Ha yea so that it kind of what is our hands. Hopefully she can recognize the real spirit when we come in and teach them. Then the stake presidents daughter got us an appointment with this kid that she likes or something. He is 18 and was raised methodist, but he said that he has always thought of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as separate beings, so he was really open to what we said. He is already in the book of Ether!! And now he is going to be baptized on the 17th of August:)
          Yea the work is going good with Elder Schubert and I. The rest of the zone over here in Iowa City is kind of stuggling. Oh yea and we had 4 investigators at church last Sunday which was GREAT!  The corn over here is getting tall which is starting to make it pretty humid!
             Well I get my new companion this Thursday so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully he likes basketball. The bishop and a couple of other members wake up pretty early and we go play at the church on monday and wednesday mornings. But everything sounds like its going great at home. I bet the crop is looking great and everything. Soon school will be started again which is crazy. Tell Maddy to just take over that team or else Jaron and I will be the only state champions in the family ha JK!! Love you All!!!! Love Elder Polatis
my District!!

We've got investigators!!!

Dragele Mele, 
How are you all doing?? Sarah.. rats.. (gulp) I WOULD DIE... Heavenly Father knows us very well.. I would not have survived in the Philippines... you are a better woman than me!.. I was chilling in relief society yesterday and everyone was going around saying how they came in contact with the church and it got to my turn and I was like "parintii mei si toate familia mea sunt membri in bisercii." (my parents and my whole family are members... everyone just looked and me and the relief society president was like... "wow you are lucky.." I just sat back and realized.. yes I really really am! so thank you family.

Well this week has been really an interesting week.... so here are my random stories for the week.... We will first start off with my language mess ups:
1- We have this less active in our ward and we go and visit her... She talks so so so so much it is amazing language study but honestly she will go none stop for about 20 minutes.. so we are at her house and we are sitting outside on her little porch.. laundry hanging over our heads and the sun beating down on us and she is going on about how she is so sick of her future daughter in law.. and she feels like a sinner because she cant stand her... anyways she had been going on for a while and then she looks and me and was like... "am I a bad person." I just starting nodding my head yes because that is what I had been doing the whole conversation... anyways I finally realize and I was like "ah nu! nu! you are not a bad person.." ha sora Rivera was dying... 
2- I was teaching Elena.. the recent convert the piano and then we were doing some romanian language study and she starting talking about her boyfriend on a mission ( I am so excited for them to get married.. they can keep building the branch) anyways I was like " I am so excited for us to get married... ha whoops.. she was dying... Well lets just say my language has come along ways this transfer but I still have a long ways to go!
Our investigator that we are working with with the boyfriend is still meeting with us.. she is so great.. She has been looking for a job for a while... and since she has been meeting with us.. she has found 3! she also came to church on sunday! wahoo! She text us and was like.. "you guys are my angels!! I love her! We are also going to get to go out to the country side and teach a jewish lady this week! how sweet is that! She came to church on sunday-- her husband is a member... She is so cool! We are super excited for that! We have also been working alot out of the area book so we have like 2 lessons set up just from out of that this week! We figure the more lesson we can get maybe we will reach our goals for the week.. ha we got stood up I think 5 times last week... rough.. ha but it is all good! 
We have been doing some different fun contacting this week... we did "random fruit contacting" as we were looking for an old address of a former investigator.. we were on the bus and we starting talking to this girl and someone had just given us some caise.. and so I asked her... "how do you say this --" even though I knew apricot was caise.. ha we then got her number and she wanted to know more! we were so excited! We ended up calling her and she stood us up... she then blocked our number.. but anyways.. ha it was fun! When then went chalk contacting in the park... we drew out the plan of salvation and we asked people if we could walk them through it.. it was really fun.. we went with the 2 newer elders in the area so it was a lot of fun! This lady took me aside and was talking to me... her friend then came over and was kind of making fun of us because she said.. "o you are the religion with all those wives.." She kind of just wanted to argue but that is not my purpose her as a missionary so I just smiled and told them to have a good night! it surprises them more when you are nice!  
So we had to do service for a member in the ward.. we went over there on tuesday and of course "the women are in the house cleaning..." so we went inside and we are cleaning everything scrubbing... sweeping... mopping... he lives with his mother who is not all there so she kind of just talked to us the whole time about I have no idea what.. I sent a picture home of me and her.. so cute.. anyways when then had to go back on Saturday and we were like of what else needs to be done... He asked us to clean out the fridge...  we opened the fridge... and..... AH BLOOD EVERYWHERE... this pork... well that is what the mother said it was dripped blood all over.. we were not sure it was a pork.. we joked that they were vampires because blood was everywhere.. I mean I am in romania right.. haha well anyways... we looked and each other and just sucked it up.. and started scrubbing... after that he asked us to clean out the freezer....and....AH BLOOD EVERYWHERE... but this time frozen dripping blood... again we just didnt think about it and starting going at it.. we made a video of it and it is so funny... you guys will have to watch it when I get home! ha While all of this is going on the elders are outside doing work and there is this random guy making homemade romanian vodka in the corner of the property... ha we asked if we could take a picture with him.. ha he said yes.. so I sent that home too... they then gave us some plums and stuff for all our work.. we finally saw the "fruits of our labors!" ha
So we were then walking home and Sora Rivera recognizes this little old lady in the middle of the street as one of our neighbors. We stopped and asked how she was and if she needed help.. she then grabbed desperately onto Sora Riveras arm and asked if we would walk her home... She has Parkinsons and we found out that she had been trying to get home for ONE HOUR... she was literally like 200 feet away from the apartment... She was like "you guys arent in a hurry right?" we kind of were in a hurry because sora had to write her talk but of course we said no.. she kept going on how she did not know what she would have done with out us... she was so grateful.. as we were walking along the beach with her.. she was saying hi to everyone.. and kept pointing out the fact that we "were her neighbors" this is really missionary of me.. but I was so touched because like in the good samaritan story we really are the only ones that stopped and helped her.. So many people came up and said hi to us that night and it made our neighbors like us a lot more! Well we walked her home and she offered us food anytime we run out! ha it was so cool! 
I LOVE being a missionary.. no greater calling than this! I find myself loving it here more and more and more everyday! yes there are hard days but it is so worth it! This gospel is amazing! o ya and I made it to Helamen this week! I am going to finish and the end of the transfer! the Book of Mormon is true! I love you all so much! Have a great week!!!!! mwwaaauuuhhh! 
va pup! cu Drag, Sora Abby Polatis  

paintballing with my District

teaching Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk

guess they wanted to plant a tree in the water drainage --don't mess!

cleaning out old pork in a fridge that has dripped everywhere;(

happy fridge--all cleaned out--what we do for investigators!

Investigators mom--no teeth smile;)

homemade MOONSHINE!

Black Sea behind me